If you are considering scalp micropigmentation, you may be wondering the same things as many of our customers. You can learn more about common questions we receive below or contact us at (858) 345-7617 for any additional questions you have too!

What is scalp micropigmentation (SMP)?

Scalp micropigmentation is a non-invasive solution to hair loss. SMP involves depositing tiny, layered dots of different colored pigment into the scalp via micro needles, which creates the look of stubble. This style is referred to as pointillism. SMP can be used by people who are experiencing any degree of hair loss, from thinning to complete baldness.

So SMP is a tattoo?

SMP is not technically considered a tattoo, although SMP is often referred to as a hair or scalp tattoo. While both SMP and tattooing involve marking the skin with ink, and utilize an electric tattoo device, tattoo ink goes much deeper into the skin and utilizes a thicker needle. The SMP process is much more involved than tattooing. It utilizes a specialized application technique and customized pigments, as well as scalp mapping. Also, SMP providers follow medical care standards not found in tattoo shops. 

Is scalp micropigmentation permanent?

SMP is considered a semi-permanent cosmetic, and generally lasts several years. Some clients may notice a little fading after a while, at which point a touch-up may be required. Clients with very dry skin may notice fading more quickly than others. 

Are there any risks associated with SMP?

As with all medical procedures, there can be some risks with scalp micropigmentation. The most common risks associated with SMP are infection and allergic reactions to components in the pigment. 

Do SMP technicians have to be licensed?

In the state of California, SMP is regulated by the Safe Body Art Act, and applies to tattooing, body piercing and other forms of permanent makeup. The act requires all facility owners to obtain a health permit, receive annual blood-borne pathogen training, and provide Hepatitis B vaccination status. Oversight is the purview of the California Department of Public Health.

How long does SMP take?

You can expect your first scalp micropigmentation session to last approximately 3–4 hours, and the second to take about 2–3 hours. Touch-ups take between 1 and 2 hours.

How many sessions of scalp micropigmentation will I need?

Most clients can expect to need 2–3 sessions initially, and then a touch-up to achieve a complete, finished look.

How long will the effects of SMP last?

Many factors will determine how long the effects of your SMP treatment last. These include many factors unique to you, such as age, health and sun and chemical exposure. Cultivated Ink suggests annual touch-ups to maintain your look. 

How much does SMP cost?

The average cost to redesign a hairline and achieve the buzz cut look is approximately $3000. Of course, individual costs are dependent upon the amount of existing hair, the scope of area to be treated and the health of the skin. Cultivated Ink can also complete work on an hourly rate. The current cost is $300 per hour. Easy financing options are available. 

Is scalp micropigmentation painful?

While SMP isn’t painless, we’ve found that most clients experience far less pain than they were anticipating. In fact, most consider the discomfort to be minimal. There may be some slight redness for a few days after the session.

What is recovery like after an SMP session?

Undergoing a session of scalp micropigmentation is non-invasive and requires little to no downtime. We do recommend that you wait 4 to 5 days before engaging in any heavy exercise or activity that would cause you to sweat excessively. We also suggest that refrain from shampooing, shaving or scrubbing the treated area for 4 to 5 days. Chlorinated pools, saunas, steam rooms and tanning beds should be avoided for 4 weeks (28 days) after the final SMP session. 

Does SMP work on all skin tones?

Scalp micropigmentation can be used on all skin tones. Pigments can be matched for Caucasians, African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics and more. SMP can help anyone achieve a natural, fuller look.

Will scalp micropigmentation cover scars?

SMP works by replicating the look of hair follicles. Using strategic placement and blending around the area, we can help conceal both surgical and transplant scars.

Does SMP work with longer hair?

Since scalp micropigmentation works with your natural hair density, some clients are able to keep their hair long. We’ll work with you to conceal the scalp when possible, but in cases where there is significant hair loss, or very little hair density, cutting your hair may be advisable. 

Who will be doing my SMP?

All clients receive a one-on-one consultation with Cultivated Ink owner Jamie Snitker. All SMP artists have been trained by world-renowned artists including industry leader Matthew Iulo of Scalp Micro USA; Joe Taylor of Scalp Logic; top cosmetic tattoo artist Teryn Darling, CPCP of Girlz Ink; Beauty Angels Academy International co-founder Kler Rosenberg; and founder of DermaTech Permanent Cosmetics, Mary Ritcherson, CPCP.